NEW YORK (AP) - Zombies, red-nosed reindeers and some veteran TV news reporters had a memorable week in the television ratings.
AMC's season finale of "The Walking Dead," the TV version of a comic book zombie series, scored the biggest audience ever for a basic cable drama series in the key young demographic of viewers aged 18-to-49-years-old, the Nielsen Co. said on Tuesday.
Six million people overall watched the final episode in its first airing Sunday night. Add in two later repeats that night, and the total audience climbed to 8.1 million viewers. That's great for a cable network, but it's worth noting that 11 broadcast dramas did better, plus comic-dramas "Glee" and "Desperate Housewives."
CBS' traditional airing of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" scored 12.2 million viewers last week, beating out all other holiday fare of grinches, Santas, country carolers and tree lightings, Nielsen said. Oh, and the "Victoria's Secret" fashion show, too. But that's aimed at holiday shopping rather than the holidays themselves.
Lesley Stahl's "60 Minutes" interview with Facebook leader Mark Zuckerberg vaulted that show into the top five of the week's most popular shows. The "60 Minutes" online post-show special, revealing a redesign of the site, reached the biggest audience that feature has ever achieved, CBS said.
Less impressive for CBS was Wednesday's Grammy nominations concert. While essentially an hour-long promo for the awards themselves, it was a costly one with only 5 million viewers tuning in. It was the third year of the nominations special, and the least-watched, Nielsen said.
CBS won the week with an average of 9.2 million viewers (5.6 rating, 9 share). NBC rode "Sunday Night Football" to a second-place showing with 8 million viewers (5.0, 8), followed by ABC's 7.2 million (4.5, 7), Fox's 7.1 million (4.2, 7), the CW's 2.3 million (1.5, 2) and ION Television's 1.4 million (0.9, 2)
Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a prime-time average of 3.6 million viewers (1.8 rating, 3 share), Telemundo had 1.2 million (0.6, 1), TeleFutura had 990,000 (0.5, 1) and Azteca and Estrella both had 190,000 (both 0.1, 0).
NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.8 million viewers (6.3, 12). ABC's "World News" was second with 8 million (5.3, 10) and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.2 million viewers (4.1, 8).
A ratings point represents 1,159,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 115.9 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.
For the week of Nov. 29-Dec. 5, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: Pittsburgh at Baltimore, NBC, 22.51 million; "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 15.75 million; "NCIS," CBS, 15.05 million; "The OT," Fox, 14.26 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 12.46 million; "Survivor: Nicaragua," CBS, 12.26 million; "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," CBS, 12.2 million; "Glee," Fox, 11.68 million; "Football Night in America," NBC, 11.43 million; "Two and a Half Men," CBS, 11.38 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox and My Network TV are units of News Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by General Electric Co. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. TeleFutura is a division of Univision. Azteca America is a wholly owned subsidiary of TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.